Fishing Reports: Fresh water and salt water - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada - UPDATED November 19, 2013.
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Vancouver Island Fishing Reports:
For Winter 2013-14
From: Victoria, Oak Bay, Sidney, Langford, Elk Lake, Prospect Lake, Sooke, Pedder Bay, Lake Cowichan Area, Port Renfrew, Nitinat Lake, Nitinat River, Harris Creek, Cowichan Bay, Shawnigan Lake, Duncan, Chemainus Lake, Salt Spring Island, St. Mary Lake, Cusheon Lake, Nanaimo, French Creek, Parksville,Qualicum, Spider Lake, Cameron Lake, Nile Creek, Courtenay / Comox, Oyster River, Campbell River, Gold River, Oyster River, Salmon River, Port Alberni, Bamfield,Ucluelet, Tofino, Barkley Sound, Port Hardy.
ROCKFISH CONSERVATION AREAS are closed to all fin fishing. Descriptions of these closures, and other recreational fishing information, can be found on the Internet at: www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/recfish
SHELLFISH SANITARY CLOSURES - Over the summer shellfish sanitary closures are common in Island waters due to warmer temperatures leading to blooms of dangerous micobal life. Detailed bivalve shellfish closure information and maps are available at: http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/psp
Contact the Department of Fisheries and Oceans For fishing regulations, to report violations, or just give your opinion: Website: http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/recfish/Tidal/coastalmap_e.htm Phone: Port Hardy 250-949-6422, Campbell River 250-850-5701, Comox 250-339-2031, Port Alberni 250-720-4440, Tofino 250- 725-3500, Nanaimo 250-754-0230 , Duncan 250-746-6221, Victoria 250-363-3252. \
Find out river conditions, water levels, volume, temperatures, etc, before you leave home.
HALIBUT OPENINGS AND RESTRICTIONS
Fishing for halibut is open coastwide until the end of December. The daily limit for halibut is one (1) and the possession limit for halibut is two (2), of which only one may be greater than 83cm.
April 1 these changes come into effect:
- The maximum length for halibut is 126cm.
- The daily limit for halibut is one (1).
- The possession limit for halibut is two (2), only one of which may be greater than 83cm in length.
- The annual limit is six (6) halibut (per licence holder).
- All halibut retained shall be immediately recorded in ink on the Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licence. The area from which each halibut is caught and its length shall immediately be recorded on license.
Exceptions to these openings are: Areas 121, 23 and 123, until December 31, 2013: No fishing for or retaining halibut, rockfish and lingcod in Area 121 outside the 12 nautical mile limit seaward of a line begining at 48 degrees 34.000 minutes North latitude and 125 degrees 17.386 minutes West longitude and continues south easterly at a bearing of 116 degrees True to a point at 48 degrees 28.327 minutes North latitude and 125 degrees 01.687 minutes West longitude.
Electronic licence conditions continue: "Only a Canadian resident may fish for or retain halibut under an electronic licence in management Areas 121, 23 and 123."
Area 121: A reminder to recreational harvesters, that the waters of Swiftsure Bank are closed to all finfish, all year.
Note: Rockfish Conservations Areas remain in effect. See: www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/restricted-restreint/rca-acs-eng.htm.
Find out river conditions, water levels, volume, temperatures, etc, before you leave home.
SOUTH ISLAND FISHING REPORT
SALT WATER – the last few late coho and some winter springs are being caught. Halibut has been slow in most areas.
BEECHER BAY– Anglers were still catching a few coho near Beechey Head. Winter spring fishing was fair for fish up to 10 lb. The best fishing for springs was right in the bay between the flag pole and Aldridge Point, and over by the Bedford Islands. Try 100’+ depths and fish close to the bottom. Many anglers are having good success using anchovies. The best teaser heads for anchovies were green glow, chartreuse/green chrome and the Bloody Nose. Artificial lures such as UV squirts, Coho Killers, and G-Force spoons have been working great as well. For flashers, use one with lots of green for coho and glow for the springs.
PEDDER BAY – Winter springs are running up to 8 lb. in Whirl Bay, near Church Rock and at the entrance to Pedder Bay. Most are close to the bottom. Anchovies were the most productive bait used in green glow, Bloody Nose and Purple Haze teaser heads. Squirts will work too with UV colours like the Jellyfish, Purple Haze and Electric Chair the best patterns. The best flashers have been Purple Glow and Purple Haze. Coho Killers and G-Force spoons have been working well too.
Halibut – The 27 and 17 fathom banks and the reef off William Head have been good. It’s also been good in 300+ feet of water towards Constance Bank. Extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus are the most popular baits. Berkley Gulp and Powerbait soft plastics also work well. Try a large spoon off a spreader bar, Mudraker or Lucky Jigs or other large jigs to stay away from dogfish.
VICTORIA – Fishing has been slow for winter springs on Constance Bank. Of the few that were caught, they were all less than 10 lb. The largest spring that we know of was 10 ˝ lb. from Brotchie Ledge. Most anglers fishing Constance Bank are using artificial lures, usually with Coho Killer (chrome or watermelon) or G-Force spoons. Closer in by the harbour, it was slower, but there were fish to be had. Brotchie Ledge to Clover Point has produced the best. Good choices in plastic baits are the Electric Chair, Purple Haze and the Glo Blow. Gibbs Coho Killer, Kingfisher and Coyote spoons in all colours have been effective. Good flashers have been the Purple Gold, Chart Glow and Purple Onion.
OAK BAY – There were mostly smaller feeder size springs. The most popular method is trolling near the bottom in 75 to 130 feet of water with squirts or spoons, Baitrix tiny strip, or small anchovy. Even anglers jigging have reported slower action. The fish that were being caught were on Coho Killer spoons in glow/green, 3” to 4” G-Force or Gypsy spoons. Good squirts were the Electric Chair, Pickle Green, J-79 and Jellyfish.
Halibut – Halibut fishing was good in November. Extra Large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus were the most popular baits.
SIDNEY - Fishing was slow for keeper size winter springs. The most productive area has been Sidney Channel near the Powder Wharf at southern James Island. There are lots of smaller springs, just below minimum size for retention, so anglers are getting lots of action, just not lots of keepers. Many anglers have been using anchovies in Bloody Nose, Purple Haze and UV Green teaser heads. Squirts have been out-producing hootchies and the hot patterns for springs now are Purple Haze, Glow Below and Electric Chair. Coho Killer spoons have also been working well, especially in double glow and 50/50 colours. Crabbing has been excellent.
FRESH WATER – The Vancouver Island Fish hatchery has started its fall stocking program and so far has released 32,688 catchable rainbow trout. Lookout Lake received 250 catchable rainbow trout; Langford Lake received 2,000 catchable rainbow trout; Prospect Lake received 2,000; Durrance Lake received 2,000, Glen Lake 1,000 and Spectacle lake 750; Kemp Lake 1,500; Matheson Lake 1,000; Langford Lake 500; Colwood Lake 250; Elk Lake received 2,064; Ida Anne Lake received 250 catchable rainbow trout.
TROUT – Trout fishing is good on most lakes in the area, especially with the fish stocking happening now. Bank anglers are catching trout on Powerbait, Gulp Eggs, or worms. Chartreuse and Sunrise have been good colours for Powerbait. Fly anglers are fishing Pumpkinheads, Wooly Buggers, Leeches and Micro Leech patterns on full sink fly lines. Trollers have been doing well with Rhys Davis Baitrix Trout lures and UV Mini Strip Teasers work well for larger fish. Flatfish and/or Kwikfish have been effective in sizes 5 to 7 in frog, black with silver flake or rainbow patterns. Jointed Rapalas have been great for larger fish. Large Willow Leaf Lake trolls with a size 6 hook tipped with a small piece of worm always produces fish. If fishing with a down rigger for trout, try finding the thermocline, usually between 15 and 25 feet this time of year. The biggest trout have come from Langford and Elk lakes.
BASS - Bass move to deeper drop offs and are harder to find. In daylight soft plastics rigged Carolina style or crank baits work well. Look for fish suspended by drop offs close to shore along docks, branches, and overhanging structure. Langford, Shawnigan, Prospect and Elk and Beaver lakes and St. Mary Lake on SaltSpring are great for bass.
CARP - Roll a small piece of bread into a ball, wet it and onto the hook it goes. A can of corn can provide a season of fun carping. Thread several kernals onto a hook so it is completely covered. To make your own “Boilies” a cup of flour mixed with a cup of corn meal are the basic ingredients. Scent is strong factor so the addition of a strong, new smell can produce results. Scents that are commonly used include strawberry, vanilla, peanut butter, corn, yam, and curry.
Island Outfitters, 3319 Douglas St., Victoria, ph: 475-4969
SOOKE FISHING REPORT
Coho fishing was excellent but will soon be over. Chinook salmon fishing has been excellent between Secretary Island and the trailer park. Lots of winter springs from 5 to 15 pounds.
Feeder springs started showing up in mid-November. From now to end of March, winter chinook salmon fishing can be excellent.
Fishing depths have been 100 to 150 ft. Anchovies have been working good in various glow teaser heads, trolled with glow red, green or purple flashers. Hootchies like J-79, Army Truck, Purple Haze, Peanut Butter, and glow white finishes also have been working.
Enjoy the winter spring fishery, it looks like it will be another good one. Sometimes during the winter you can catch 30 to 50 fish in four hours. The seas are often very calm.
Halibut is open until the end of December.
Special discounted winter rates are available for fishing charters and for accommodations between October 15 to April 30.
Until next time happy faces and tight lines
Al Kennedy, Reel Excitement Salmon Charters 250-642-3410 cell 250-880-1004 www.salmonexcitement.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org
LAKE COWICHAN AREA FISHING REPORT
SALT WATER - Sansum Narrows and The Bluff - good for winter chinook fishing. Troll 100 ft. with anchovy and flasher. Jerkers also doing well. Fish to 12 lb. Prawning and crabbing going strong.
FRESH WATER - Cowichan Lake fishing has picked up. Try trolling creek mouths with 3” Tomic plugs in the amazing new iridescent colours. Also good success with Apex lures and Wonder Spoons, also try out the new Sea-Four Lures. They come in awesome new colour patterns. The design of the lure when heated in hot water enables you to adjust the action. Fly casting at creek mouths with Wooley Buggers or leeches. Remember bait ban and single barbless hooks until April 15, 2014. Cutthroat and rainbow trout over 50 cm must be released.
Kissinger and Lizard lakes to the west, good rainbow trout fishing, try a Corky and single egg rig off the docks and beaches. Trolling with small Spratleys, leeches, Wooley Buggers, Flatfish and small spoons.
Fuller Lake, Chemainus Lake, Dougan’s Lake, Quamichan Lake and Somenos Lake also producing well. These seven lakes have been recently stocked.
Cowichan River trout fishing - Mid-river resident rainbow and brown trout. Single egg copies.
Skutz Falls to 70.2 Trestle excellent for browns and rainbows. Single egg copies and minnow or Rolled Mudler flies. Stanley Creek to 70.2 Trestle loaded with rainbows that have dropped from the lake to dine on the salmon eggs and prepare for spawning. The largest brown trout in the river are found in this section.
Flies of choice - Single egg patterns, Rolled Mudlers, Prince Nymphs, Hair’s Ear Nymphs, Pheasant Tail Nymphs. Stick to the bead heads and weighted flies as the river is still quite high as it is important to get down deep.
The Cowichan River is open for retention of ONE (1) coho salmon (over 25 cm) and TWO (2) chum salmon from 66 Mile Trestle in Marie Canyon to the Highway No. 1 Bridge (Silver Bridge), in Duncan until December 21, 2013
Best flies for coho are Blue Rolled Mudlers, Micky Fins or Jim Humphreys famous river salmon flies.
Best spinning lures for coho: Vibrax, gold/orange size 3 or silver/pink in size 3, also Gibbs Crock spoons in hammered brass with fire stripe.
Steelhead Fishing - Cowichan River - Try Silver Bridge area for early steelhead. Pink worms (we stock 17 shades), blades, Spin’n’Glows are your best bets. Mid-river (Riverbottom Road area) try pink worms, blades and smaller roe imitations. December/January yields the largest fish of the season followed by the February/March run of smaller but more plentiful fish.
Nitinat, San Juan, Harris Creek - All excellent rivers for late summer runs and winter steelhead. Best fished when coming off of high water.
Fly Fishing - Heavy sink tip lines are necessary when the rivers are running in winter conditions.
Flies of choice - Always popular egg and roe copies, General Practitioners in black or orange, Squamish Poachers and any large and bushy fly. The best of the best are Jim Humphrey’s Intruder Flies that could entice a strike at any time.
Put your time in and as the weather improves the odds of landing a winter steelhead will only get better.
May your rod bend to the butt and your smile go from ear to ear
Stop by the store for current fishing report.
Gord March, Cowichan Fly & Tackle, 98 South Shore Road Lake Cowichan BC 250-749-4964 www.cowichanflyandtackle.ca
SALT SPRING ISLAND FISHING REPORT
Starting in December winter time fishing can be great with multiple hook-ups of 5-15 lb. winter spring salmon.
Because the salmon start so far north they bite the first lure they see. On Salt Spring we get the smart salmon that have already turned down thousands of lures.
Kurt Irwin, Salt Spring Reel Action Fishing Charters, 250-537-6613
TROUT AND SMALLMOUTH BASS FISHING ON SALT SPRING ISLAND
Salt Spring Island is a perfect get-away for anglers looking for great trout and bass, peaceful surroundings, with cultural attractions and the comforts of home. All this a short distance from Vancouver Island or the Lower Mainland, via BC Ferries from Crofton, Sidney, or Tsawassen.
St. Mary Lake is among B.C.’s best smallmouth bass fisheries, and also has excellent trout fishing. Cusheon Lake is the island’s little secret.
Fishing ST. MARY LAKE - Smallmouth bass fishing picks up in the cooler weather. Top-water lures like poppers and buzz-baits work well. Shore casting spinners and spoons are effective, and trolling a gang-troll with worms usually catches trout. Target submerged structure and shoreline overhangs.
St. Mary Lake is restricted to the use of rowboats, paddling or electric motors only. Deepest pockets are in the north-west: 55 feet (17 metres).
The bigger trout and bass will feed more actively as the weather cools. Target them with bigger flies. Large poppers and top water imitations are great fun when you notice insect activity on the surface. Bass will hit top water casting lures like buzz baits. Fish around cover like sunken trees, overhanging branches and docks, or plumb the deep pockets.
Fishing CUSHEON LAKE - Located between Fulford and Ganges; access via Cusheon Lake Rd. Just a few homes and Cusheon Lake Resort line the shores, and there is little angling pressure. Cusheon has a good population of smallmouth bass, plus cutthroat trout. The lake is 3/4 kilometres in length and has a maximum depth of about 30 feet in the the western reach. Fly fishers do well on Wooly Buggers and wet flies year round.Cusheon is also a domestic water supply so motor boats are not allowed.
CEDAR BEACH RESORT: http://saltspring-accommodations.com/
CUSHEON LAKE RESORT: www.cusheonlake.com
NANAIMO FISHING REPORT
SALT WATER - Winter spring salmon fishing usually starts up by the end of December though there are probably a few fish out there now. The winter chinook hot spots include Entrance Island, Ballenas, the Five Fingers, Thrasher Rock and points further out. The key to success is to troll a bit deeper, 150 to 200 feet. Bait, hootches and spoons in greens and white will do the trick.
Halibut remain open until the end of December, though not many people have been targeting them. Lingcod closed on November 15.
Deeper in winter holds true for crabbing - set your traps at 60 - 80 feet. Put your prawn traps down 200 - 250 feet. Look for depressions and pockets. Prawns like a sandy bottom.
FRESH WATER - The chum salmon fishery in the Nanaimo River and in the Qualicum is going strong right now but will peter out by the end of November. It’s been a good year, with lots of anglers giving it a try and most catching all the chum they want. These are big strong fish, and it’s an easily accessible fishery.
There will be a very few winter steelhead coming into the Nanaimo River. Most people targeting steelhead will go to the Stamp, the Cowichan, Gold or other rivers in the north Island.
Trout fishing in mid-Island lakes during the winter can be great. The fish liven up and begin feeding after a cold snap, especially after a lake has thawed out. As with the winter salmon, fishing deeper is usually a good idea for lake trout fishing. If you’re trolling slow down a bit. Flatfish or Kwikfish in black speckled or rainbow trout patterns are a good bet. Shore fishers can have great catches using slip weights to keep Power Eggs or a worm on the bottom. Spin casters can do well from shore on spinners or small BuzzBombs.
Gone Fishin’, 600-2980 North Island Hwy. ,Nanaimo, ph: 250-758-7726
FRENCH CREEK / PARKSVILLE / QUALICUM FISHING REPORT
Salt water - 2013 was a good salmon season in French Creek with quite a few springs up in the 40 lb. range.
We just finished a great season of beach fishing for coho salmon, and earlier a good pink fishery.
There are probably some winter springs out there now but either wind or the fog has kept fishermen off the water. The main winter spring season usually takes off in mid-January. I have been skunked on New Year’s Day, but that’s fishing. Fish depths of 150-180 feet, and troll the same speeds as you do for summer chinooks. Troll darker colours and Army Truck, Cop Car and green and white hootchies and spoons. The winter chinooks move faster and fight harder, pound for pound, in the colder water than the summer fish. It’s a nice time of year to fish, because there’s not a lot of boats out there and no line ups at the ramp.
Fresh water - The rivers won’t be active for a while. The cutthroat trout are too full of salmon roe for now. They won’t be coming down to the beach until it gets warmer.
Spider Lake always fishes well. Fly fishers try white Wooly Buggers or leeches, because the trout are down deep so you need to get their attention.
French Creek Marina Store, 5 - 1025 Lee Rd., Parksville, ph: 250-248-8912
MID-ISLAND RIVER REPORT
The height of the fishing season is now largely over. Some hardy types will be out on the salt chuck after feeder chinook on the finer days of winter. In general they are more active feeders than summer fish. As a result you can fish faster and cover more water.
In fresh water the steelheaders will be chasing this fantastic fish in a core of Vancouver Island rivers, the most famous of which will be the Stamp and the Cowichan. Fly fishermen will get some fish using large marabou patterns and Woolly Buggers in a variety of bright colours. Large rubber legged nymphs also work well close to the bottom. However, the majority will be caught on gear using Jensen eggs, Corkies, Spin’n’Glows, or pink worms under dink floats with pencil lead.
As I write this there are still late runs of chum and coho in many east coast rivers and several anglers are having good sport on the fly on the Little Qualicum River.
Whatever your passion we have all the right tackle and advice to help you catch more fish.
Tight lines !
Keith Hyett, Coast Sportfish, 202 - 891 Island Hwy. West, Parksville, telephone 250-586-6622, www.coastsportfish.com
PORT ALBERNI / BARKLEY SOUND FISHING REPORT
Saltwater - There’s a few winter spring salmon around now but that fishery really takes off around the new year. The key is finding the bait. Winter spring fishing can be productive anywhere from the outside of Barkley Sound into the upper Alberni Inlet.
Lingcod fishing closed November 15, but halibut is open until the end of the year. We didn’t quite reach our quota this season and we should be back on track with a full length halibut season for next year.
Freshwater - The river salmon fishing is just winding down. and we’ve had a good run of coho. Winter-run steelhead will start to show up after the big rains, usually in late November. Pink worms, Spin’n’Glows, and Corkies are still good lures but increasingly it’s becoming a jig fishery. Marabou jigs (1/4 ounce) under a float are proving effective and convenient.
Check the regulations for bait openings and other restrictions: www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/fresh-douce/region1-eng.htm.
Right now trout fishing is still very good in the bigger lakes especially those with sockeye salmon. There’s a lot of salmon eggs around. Try fishing creek mouths with Powerbait or salmon roe, especially after heavy a rainfall.
Gone Fishin’, 5069 Johnston, Port Alberni, ph: 250-723-1172
In our printed August edition of Island Angler we incorrectly stated that chinook salmon fishing was closed in Barkley Sound.
In fact Barkley Sound is open to retention of 2 chinook under 77 cm which is around a 15 pound fish. Only the Alberni Inlet is closed to retention of chinook.
The full regulations are at this address: http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/maps-cartes/notice-avis/23-ch.pdf
COURTENAY / COMOX FISHING REPORT
Denman Island and surrounding areas are great places to explore if you are looking for winter spring salmon. Kitty Coleman can also be very productive. Smaller lures and needle fish are common for winter springs. Trolling close to shore-lines and rock bluffs with deep drop-offs can produce some nice fish.
Prawning is usually good in the winter. Keep a close eye on your sounder for deep ledges as prawns congregate in these areas. Go deep and make sure you have lots of food available in your traps. A good mixture of Pellets and Carlyle Cat food works great!
Comox Lake has some fantastic winter trout fishing opportunities. Weetads, small spoons, or Wedding Bands work well. Don’t be afraid to get down nice and deep.
Egg patterns are always popular in the winter for the local rivers. Winter steelhead will be plentiful in many of our local rivers as well as trout. Pink worms or steelhead jigs also work well.
Ladies Week Dec.1 to the 7.
Kerry Amos, Tyee Marine (Peter’s Sport Shop), 870 Cliffe Ave., Courtenay, 334-2942
CAMPBELL RIVER FISHING REPORT
Halibut will stay open till December 31 this year. The Hump has been productive all year long. If the feed stays in the area, so will the halibut so why not give it a try? Power Bait with a 16 or 24 oz jig head or Mudrakers are perfect for the Hump as are 8 oz Point Wilson Darts.
Winter springs are showing at The Lighthouse, the Hump, and Shelter Point. Trolling needle fish, small Tomic spoons or plugs always work well for winter run salmon.
You might find some late chum or coho hanging around the Brown’s Bay area. They’ve had a great year and the coho have been plentiful in most areas. Use your standard Pink Michael Bait with a Spin’n’Glow at about 60 feet.
Winter steelhead runs will be starting around November 15 on the Quinsam and Nimpkish Rivers, mid-December, in the Gold River and in January you will see them in the Salmon and Oyster rivers.
If you’re using gear for steelhead, try pink worms, Jensen Eggs, maribou jigs, yarn or spinners.
Fly fishermen should use Egg Sucking Leaches, Rabbit Fur Flies, bright coloured maribou leaches, or Practitioners.
Tyee Marine’s Ladies Week will be Dec. 1 to 7.
Please find us on facebook at email@example.com.
Tyee Marine, 880 Island Hwy., Campbell River, 250-287-2641
TOFINO FISHING REPORT (from September 15)
The season has shifted focus from offshore chinook to rock piles, reefs and kelp beds of Clayoquot Sound. Coho is the best in years: schools of feisty, acrobatic 7-15. lb bright salmon. Hot action with double-headers and shallow bites the norm. Needlefish hootchies and smaller spoons have been the ticket. As the average size gets larger and they become moody and start acting like chinook put on some meat. Clear fish scale and UV teaser heads with shorter leaders and glitzy flashers are whacking them.
A growing trend has hit the west coast of Vancouver Island: tuna. Albacore average 15-25 lb. and scream line off. Late summer and fall brings a warm current that pushes in these foreign looking and good eating pelagics. It’s a long run off-shore and every precaution should be taken, including a buddy rescue boat. Tofino has a capable charter fleet to ensure safety. Trolling at 5-8 knots with tuna clones, cedar plugs, and diving baits is the name of the game.
Sean (Hartbreaker) Hart, Hartbreaking Fishing Company, 1-250-266-1581 Proud member of Marina West charter fleet.
WITH Shawn Counts, General Manager - Method Marine Supply Ltd., 219, 380 Main Street, 250 725-3251, 250 266-2384
UCLUELET / LONG BEACH (from September 15)
Things are slowly winding down in Ucluelet as our seasons change from an outstanding summer into the Fall and winter months. Fishing in the Ucluelet area this summer was amazing with full limits had by all of our guests. Thank you to each and every one of you for your continued support in making Big Bear a premium fishing destination on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
This year’s Ucluelet Salmon Ladder Derby was again a huge success with our guide, Brett Thomas taking first place with a 33.7 lb. tyee. Way to go Brett! That has Big Bear winning the season long derby two years in a row. Let’s hope for a three-peet.
As we move into the Fall look for the last of the chinook salmon to move through, and then the start of our amazing coho runs. The prediction for our coho runs this year is very promising and we are already seeing a lot of large coho hit the docks. These fish can get a bit picky as they home in on their natal streams before spawning, so changing up the gear often until you find their preference is a must.
Small spoons, hootchies, and the famous cutplug are all excellent choices. Fish them shallow in the a.m. and move a little deeper as the day warms and brightens up. Also, try your hand at these fish with the fly rod. An 8-10 wt. with a medium sinking line and your favourite streamer patterns in the prop wash will surely entice these acrobatic rockets.
Big Bear is also proud to announce the opening of the Whiskey Landing Lodge. This premier hotel is located right on Ucluelet harbour and next to our private marina. Look for upcoming fishing packages for the 2014 season. For information check www.whiskeylanding.com
Don’t hesitate to give us a call to book your fishing vacation of a lifetime with Big Bear Salmon Charters.
The Crew @ Big Bear, 1-855-9(Salmon) www.bigbearsalmoncharters.com
NOOTKA SOUND / MOUTCHA BAY REPORT (from September 15)
We are into our Fall fishery in Nootka Sound. The rain has swollen the rivers enough for most of the staging chinook salmon in Moutcha Bay to shoot up to their spawning grounds.
The fish stacked up outside have started to move down the coast to their spawning rivers as well. However we are seeing a lot more mature local coho in areas such as Maquina Point, Wash Rock, and the top of Bligh Island. Troll 4" spoons and 4 - 5" plugs for light tackle fun, these acrobatic hard fighting fish will not disappoint! Bottom fishing continues good; however it has been a little harder finding halibut lately.
For those on adventurous side, 40 miles out at the 1000 fathom mark are massive schools of albacore tuna. We ventured out for the first time and were into over 30 fish in a couple of hours. We will research this further for guiding opportunities. Research before heading out and go with two or more boats when traveling far off-shore.
Local rivers are full of large mature spawning chinook. Our favourite river is the Conuma. You can retain two springs a day with a fresh water license and non-tidal salmon tag. 2 - 3" spoons or spinners are best for gear chuckers, and 2 to 3" articulating rabbit hair flies with green crystal flash for the feather wavers.
Tight lines, good luck, and safe fishing.
Gibran White, Marine Operations Manager, Nootka Marine Adventures
PORT HARDY FISHING REPORT (from September 15)
Spring salmon fishing has slowed right down, but we got lots of coho for at least another three weeks or until the big rains start.
This year was good one for chinook salmon up here with 10 fish over 50 lb. weighed in, and about 40 fish over 40 lb. in Port Hardy.
Coho are now in the estuaries of the Quatse and the Keogh rivers. There’s also lots of pink salmon. Low water will keep them there until the rains.
Halibut has been good. We’ve releasing lots of big fish over 100 lb. and have also been catching plenty of keepers in the 20-40 lb. range.
Trout fishing is great. Trollers and fly fishers are getting their limits in area lakes, and fishing will only get better once it cools down.
NOTE: We’ll be closing the store as soon as we sell all the stock. Come in for fantastic deals on sporting goods.
Jim’s Hardy Sports, Thunderbird Mall, Port Hardy, 250-949-8382 & Jim’s Castle Point Charters, 250-949-9294, cell 250-949-1982
2014 TIDAL WATERS FISHING LICENSES ONLY ON-LINE
In the spring when it’s time to buy your fishing licenses there will be some changes. Non-tidal licenses will remain available from your fishing tackle store as well as the BC government website. Tidal licenses however will no longer be for sale at any store, they will only be available on-line for 2014.
As an attempt to go green by using less paper the federal government will no longer print blank licenses. Anglers, however, will have to print the on-line license and carry it with them when fishing.
The federal government will also stop offering vendors any incentive to sell licenses. Previously tackle shop owners earned one dollar for each license sold. Not exactly a high profit margin, but a bit of compensation for their time. So the federal government will save money by not printing licenses and also by not sharing proceeds with stores. Also going into extinction are printed tidal waters regulations booklets. The government is banking on anglers carrying smart phones to check regulations wherever they are fishing.
Many tourists will be caught unprepared, and possibly find themselves paying fines for fishing without a license and without a clear idea of fishing regulations.
BITUMAN CRUDE OIL PIPELINE THROUGH B.C. BY 2018?
While still awaiting approval from the federal government, site preparations and surveying has begun for the Northern Gateway pipeline proposed to run through B.C. to deliver tar sands oil to fleets of tankers. The heavy crude oil will be refined in China and shipped to markets.
The pipeline will run through some of BC’s most sensitive habitat including prime fish bearing rivers. Chances of an oil spill along BC’s tricky reef studded coast pose another risk.
Enbridge, the Calgary company building the pipeline is confident they will finish the project by 2018.
Enbridge’s massive advertising and lobbying campaign makes it look like a done deal. The federal Harper government is fully behind the project, despite officially awaiting the results of public input and federal enquiry. The decision is expected in 2014. The federal government has added its voice to Enbridge’s cheerleaders with a multi-million dollar advertising campaign promising wealth and a pristine environment. The ads feature fly fishing scenes.
Enbridge V.P., Vern Yu said, "We expect that there would be some appeals to that decision and that would take us into early 2015 and at that point we would be able to start construction.”
The B.C. government initially opposed to the pipeline, but now supports it in exchange for yet to be disclosed benefits. Over 70 First Nations remain against it, and environmental groups are unanimous in their objections. But with the recent flurry of crude oil train disasters there seems to be no winning option.
Enbridge has a dismal history of pipeline spills and a poor record of response and remediation. The Watershed Sentinel tallied Enbridge’s spills since the year 2000 at 132,715 barrels, more than half the Exxon Valdez spill of 257,000 barrels. Spills occurred in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Montana. One spill in Wisconsin resulted in an explosion that killed seven people. A second pipeline explosion killed two people. In yet another incident the company deliberately set fire to 6,000 barrels of spilled crude oil to get rid of the problem. Enbridge’s 2010 Michigan spill was the largest inland oil spill ever on the U.S.A. mainland.
The authors of an online petition (leadnow.ca) say the pipeline will cost fisheries and tourism jobs in B.C. as well as factory jobs in central Canada, while it will employs only a few Canadians. In addition the pipeline will bring 200+ super-tankers per year into our challenging and hazardous waters.
See the petition at http://www.leadnow.ca/canadas-interests
Be bear aware
A biological drive to put on weight for a long winter has B.C.’s bears on the move, seeking out the calories they need before heading to their dens.
In their desperation to get enough food, bears can get aggressive, especially in areas close to human habitat. That’s when most bear-human conflicts occur. If you’re fishing Island rivers there’s a chance you may encounter bears drawn to the same shores.
Bears have an incredible sense of smell. They can zero in on food from miles away and can be single-minded to get at that food. For a bear, food comes in many forms, including garbage and over-ripe fruit in residential areas.
Every bear encounter is unique so there are no steadfast rules.
If you meet a bear in the wild try to remain calm. Never approach or chase a bear; face the bear without making eye contact, back away slowly. Take the same route out that you came in. Try to keep track of the bear, but again, don't challenge the bear with eye contact.
If the bear makes blowing or snorting noises and then charges and veers off at the last second this is likely defensive behavior so continue to back away.
Extend your arms above your head appearing as large as you can, talk in a gruff voice, look for a weapon such as a rock or stick. Drop your pack to distract the bear; only do this if absolutely necessary because the bear could learn to pursue people for their packs.
Climb a tree as a last resort.
If a bear is persistent or aggressive, call the Report Poachers and Polluters hotline 1- 877-952-7277, or surf to www.rapp.bc.ca.
For more information about bears and bear-human conflicts, visit:
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